The eagerly-awaited reopening of Bramall Hall saw tickets for the first two days completely sell out.
The Hall recently re-opened following restoration, thanks to a £1.6 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The historic grade I listed building closed at the end of September 2014 to undergo major transformation.
Stockport’s Mayor, Councillor Chris Gordon was heralded with a Tudor fanfare by a trio of strolling minstrels. After an opening speech, he knocked on the heavy oak doors of the Great Hall and the first visitors were welcomed inside.
Almost 1,500 people stepped inside the Hall to see the dramatic changes to the historic rooms and the Hall’s features and architecture. So popular was the Grand Re-opening Weekend that tickets sold out weeks ago.
Visitors saw the ornate, plaster ceiling in the magnificent Withdrawing Room which sympathetically restored and hundreds of leaded and stained windows that have been repaired throughout the building.
Two additional rooms have been opened up to the public – a Victorian Butler’s Pantry and a Dining Room that has been furnished with period pieces, and whose decoration in a striking peacock blue, has been inspired by a fragment of wallpaper hidden behind a panel.
Outside the Hall, a Tudor Festival was in full swing in the weekend sunshine. A jester entertained the crowds with fire-eating, stilt walking and Tudor tomfoolery. An encampment of traditional Tudor crafts was set up in front of the new visitor centre, featuring candle-making, leather workers, a blacksmith, armourer, basket weaver, Tudor surgeon, knights fighting schools, campfire cookery and archery.
Cllr Kate Butler, Executive Member for Regeneration & Economy said: ‘Bramall Hall is a jewel in the crown of the heritage of Stockport, and I’d encourage everybody to visit to see the result of this wonderful restoration work.’